Bay Area

Lawsuit over regional growth plan settled

A building industry lawsuit challenging the legality of the controversial regional growth strategy known as Plan Bay Area has been settled and includes a commitment by regional agencies to plan for more housing growth.

The Association of Bay Area Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Building Industry Association of the Bay Area also came to broad agreement on procedures to forecast job growth and housing demand.

Plan Bay Area, adopted by ABAG and MTC in July 2013, was the first implementation of SB375, requiring integrated regional housing and transportation plans to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The builders association sued ABAG and MTC, claiming Plan Bay Area would effectively lock future workers out of the Bay Area housing market and result in more long commutes from outside the region.

-- Sam Richards, Staff


Help offered to enroll in health care plan

Tri-City residents can find help at several locations with signing up for a health insurance plan before the Affordable Care Act's March 31 deadline.

They can visit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., or from 12 to 2 p.m. March 18, at the Fremont Family Resource Center, at 39199 Liberty St.

Residents also can call 510-252-6808 to make an appointment at the Tri-City Health Center, at 39500 Liberty St., Fremont.

Or they can enroll themselves by going to

Those who do not sign up by the end of the month might be penalized, with a fine collected through their income taxes next year.

For details call the Fremont Family Resource Center at 510-574-2000.

-- Chris De Benedetti, Staff


Fundraisers set for slain BART officer

A pair of fitness-related fundraising events have been scheduled in honor of BART police Sgt. Tommy Smith, who died Jan. 21 in an accidental shooting by another officer.

The first is a charity workout scheduled at 9 a.m. March 23, at Crossfit OneWorld, at 33415 Western Ave. in Union City. It will feature a silent auction, raffle and a gourmet food truck, with all proceeds benefiting Smith's family in San Ramon.

A $40 registration fee is suggested but not required, event organizers said. All fitness levels are welcome.

Donors also can give to a second event in mid-May, when Fremont police Officer Ron Nevin will ride his bicycle in Smith's honor from New Jersey to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the weeklong charity ride will go to the national memorial.

To register for the Union City event, go to To donate to the charity bicycle ride, go to

-- Chris De Benedetti, Staff


Bluesman to perform in concert Sunday

A concert by Ron Thompson & His Resistors, a highly regarded East Bay blues group, is scheduled for Sunday, continuing a Newark nonprofit group's annual musical tradition.

The performance, part of the League of Volunteers' yearly Sunday Afternoon Concert Series, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Thornton Junior High Multipurpose Auditorium, at 4357 Thornton Ave.

Thompson is a legendary rhythm-and-blues guitarist and keyboardist who has performed and recorded with musical icons such as John Lee Hooker, Etta James, B.B. King, Mick Fleetwood and Tina Turner.

The blues musician also is a Newark High School graduate and a Grammy Award nominee, said Shirley Sisk, executive director of the League of Volunteers.

Doors open at 1 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be served, Sisk said.

Admission is free, with suggested donations of $10 for adults and $3 for children ages 11 and younger.

For more details, call 510-793-5683 or go to

-- Chris De Benedetti, Staff


Blood trail leads to burglary suspect

A burglary suspect who severely cut himself breaking into an East Oakland house Monday night was arrested after police followed his blood trail to his hiding spot a few blocks away, authorities said Tuesday.

The break-in happened about 10 p.m. at a two-story house in the 2500 block of 12th Avenue.

Police said it appears the suspect, a 31-year-old man whose name was not released, was able to climb to a second-floor window of the house, possibly from an adjoining roof, and broke out the glass.

The suspect badly cut both arms and hands jumping through the broken window, police said.

The noise awakened the occupants, who confronted the man, who fled out the front door, bleeding profusely and leaving a trail of blood behind, police said. Nothing was taken from the house, and no one else was injured.

Responding officers followed the blood trail to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of East 24th Street about two blocks away where the man had taken refuge in a unit.

Police set up a perimeter, and the suspect was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries after he came out of the apartment, at about 11:15 p.m., police said.

He was being held on suspicion of burglary.

-- Harry Harris, Staff


Thieves steal lottery machine from store

Thieves broke into a grocery store over the weekend and stole a California Lottery Scratchers vending machine, police said.

The machine -- without cash or tickets -- was found a few hours later several blocks from the store, police said. The heist took place sometime overnight Saturday at the Lucky in the 40000 block of Mission Boulevard, police said.

The machines are large, so it's likely more than one person was involved, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 510-790-6760.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff


School theft suspects captured after fleeing

Two teenagers who fled on a golf cart after stealing an electronic game system from a Montera Middle School student on campus Monday morning were captured more than an hour later after they abandoned the cart and ran into Joaquin Miller Park, police said.

The suspects, 16 and 17, drove the cart to the area of Joaquin Miller Road and Pierpoint Avenue where they abandoned it and fled into the park.

They apparently hid briefly in backyards but were arrested on suspicion of grand theft at 9:08 a.m.

-- Harry Harris, Staff


DUI suspect arrested after crashing car

A Berkeley man who allegedly crashed his car into several businesses early Tuesday morning tried to flee officers on foot before being arrested, police said.

The wreck happened just after midnight, when a Honda Civic traveling at a high speed on a wet roadway wound up on the sidewalk of San Pablo Avenue at Columbia Avenue, police said. The 25-year-old driver, whom police did not identify, took off on foot after the car came to a rest on Van Fleet Avenue but did not get far, police said.

He was booked into County Jail in Martinez on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, hit-and-run and resisting arrest, police said.

The crash damaged the businesses, as well as several trees, garbage cans and benches, police said. Pedestrians were in the area when the wreck occurred but weren't injured.

Police closed the roadway for approximately three hours to investigate the scene, and a large amount of debris was cleaned from the roadway.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff